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Exploring the Beauty of Ohio and Beyond...

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About the Photo: Not taking the easy way influenced my choices for photos as one of two featured artists at 3060 ARTWORKS for September. I could have used my existing printed and framed photos, but many of them have been featured before. I decided to do a set of photos in the theme “Our Beautiful Great Lakes”, featuring Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan (see other pictures in this blog). I was pleasantly surprised when I received the promo card for the show and thought my “Tropical Ohio” went well with fellow featured Holley Morris’ piece. The opening reception will be the 3060 ARTWORKS’ “Hilltop Art Hop”, Saturday, September 5. It will follow all safety protocols and masks are required in the gallery. Event Information


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Tropical Ohio (Lake Point Park - Lake Erie)

Unfortunately, the title of this blog has been said to me several times on my cancer journey.

  • March 2019. Surgery. The tumor was so much bigger than they expected.
  • Had AFib five days after surgery.
  • Had internal bleeding about a month after the original surgery that put me in the ICU.
  • Had an allergic reaction to the chemo Paclitaxel. I blacked out and had to be taken to the ER.
  • Had another AFib incident a few days after that, probably brought on by the allergic reaction.
  • Fall 2019. Immunotherapy drug in the clinical trial destroyed my thyroid (and caused a variety of nasty side effects while doing so). It also did not halt the growth of the tumor.
  • March 2020. Developed a hernia under the original incision site and had to have emergency surgery.
  • Lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks recovering from the hernia surgery.

  • April 2020. Having gone through all available treatments and no clinical trials available due to COVID-19, we decide on a two-drug combo that shows promise in studies but not yet approved for my cancer. Thankfully, the drug companies supply the drugs since insurance will not pay for it.
  • June 2020. Among some other nasty side effects of this treatment protocol, I have lost another 20-25 pounds and a lot of my strength and the oral chemo makes my blood pressure rise. HOWEVER, CT scans show the tumors are shrinking!
  • August 2020. Procedure to remove 2 small spots from my liver was scheduled to be out-patient. I develop low blood pressure and dizziness the day before it because I was told to stop taking the oral chemo (for seven days to aid in healing) but still had the blood pressure lowering meds in my system. ER visit and 3 days in the hospital
  • That procedure leaves me with a stiff, painful neck and shoulder on my right side, probably due to nerves being irritated and causing referred pain. Massage, and two chiropractic visits to get that worked out

Our Beautiful Great Lakes

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    Driftwood (Headlands Beach State Park, Lake Erie OH

I think they have finally gotten me straightened out and the GOOD NEWS from the procedure was that the spots on my liver were dead tissue, most likely meaning the treatment had already destroyed the cancer. The plan is to continue taking the oral chemo and another infusion of the immunotherapy drug, in 4 weeks. It is normally every 3 weeks, but I wanted to feel “good” for the first week of September and it is was not a problem to push it out a week.

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Serendipity (Lake Michigan-Mackinac Bridge MI)

Not taking the easy path has been a part of my life in photography. Given who I am, doing digital art where I just stayed home behind a computer might have been an easier route for me (no offense to anyone who does digital art). But for me, I already spend far too much time in front of a computer. Doing photography, especially landscape photography, got me out of the house and moving. I think I have said in earlier blogs that the physical and mental improvements photography has had on me improved my ability to deal with this cancer.


Our Beautiful Great Lakes

Unfortunately, 2020 has left me without that “get up and go” motivation that photography gave me. While I have started to “feel better” and be a bit more active, I do not even feel as good as I did at the beginning of this year. I wish I could blame everything on the pandemic, but it is not the reason I have stopped going to parks and doing country drives. I do not have a lot of strength for walking and driving makes my back hurt after about 30 minutes. I even still work from home from my recliner for my software development job most of the time because my office chair hurts my back. But at least now it seems I am getting back the “oomph” I have begun working with my chiropractor and a physical therapist to try and get moving again.


Another bright spot that happened was two of my photos were also chosen by Ohio Art League’s Spring Juried Exhibition. Originally scheduled as a live show, they produced a virtual exhibition. My photos are on page 8 and page 37. I knew that two of my photos had been chosen but was shocked and pleased when the exhibition was released, “Light’s Last Dance” had won 3rd place. I also entered their “HomeWorks” exhibit and all three pieces were selected for the August exhibit. My photos are on pages 6, 11, and 15. Attention fellow artists, they are still looking for entries for this series for September thru December. 


Even without cancer, 2020 has been a physical and emotional roller coaster for everyone. I have had some rough times, and when the problems pile on, I’m having a bit more difficulty dealing with them. But I also need to remember, I have been blessed with good friends and family and a great company to work for. I am looking forward to regaining my strength, ever more shrinking tumors on the next scans, and hopefully, some fall photography day trips.




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